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  • Pima County swimmers end season on Olympic note

    Jul 12, 2016 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Swim Team will end its season July 23 at the Wade McLean Pool at Marana High School by paying tribute to the 2016 Summer Olympics.
     Swim team member
    More than 640 swimmers will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in the Championship Meet, the culmination of a season that started May 21 and places more emphasis on fun than freestyle, said Grant Bourguet, who manages the program for Pima County’s Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department.

    Gates open at 6 a.m. at Wade McLean Pool, 12000 W. Emigh Road, with the “Parade of Teams” taking place at 6:50 a.m. The first race starts at 8 a.m. with competitions expected to last till about 2 p.m. Parents and coaches representing each team also swim and compete for the “Fighter Belt Awards.” 

    The program comprises nine teams of swimmers age 5 to 18 from around the county. Meets are held every Saturday. Cost for the entire summer, including practices and meets, is $20.

    The 2016 swim teams are:
    • Ajo Desert Sharks
    • Catalina Rattlers
    • Flowing Wells Dolphins
    • Kino Tsunami
    • Los Ninos Piranhas
    • Manzanita Torpedoes
    • Marana Marlins
    • Thad Terry Stingrays
    • Wade McLean Tiger Sharks
    Other swim programs may be more competitive, Bourguet said, requiring swimmers to compete in prelims (preliminary, qualifying races) in order to advance to finals. That’s not the philosophy of the county’s program.

    “We hold true to the fact that it’s a novice program,” Bourguet said. “You eliminate a lot of participants with prelims. We give them five chances to get their best possible time, and everyone goes to the finals.”

    Bourguet said they don’t discourage swimmers who want to hone their skills and swim competitively. But the program’s goal is putting youngsters in the pool and “getting them excited about swimming.”

    To learn more, visit the Pima County Swim Program website. You can also check out a Facebook page for the program with lots of photos of the 2016 season. 

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